Quantcast

Michelle Obama: Sesame Street's Big Bird and Elmo to Promote Fresh Fruit and Veggies to Kids

Food

The nonprofit organization behind the popular children’s educational program Sesame Street will allow the produce industry to use Big Bird, Elmo and Sesame Street’s other characters free of charge to help market fruits and vegetables to kids.

The goal is to level the marketing playing field to give fresh fruits and vegetables a competitive edge over processed foods and, ultimately, encourage healthier eating habits among children.

The agreement aims to help kids develop healthier eating habits early in life by choosing fresh fruits and veggies. Photo credit: National Nursing Review

The Sesame Street characters may appear on produce in stores as early as mid-2014.

Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) joined the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) in the two-year agreement, which was announced by First Lady Michelle Obama at a press conference late today.

“Just imagine what will happen when we take our kids to the grocery store, and they see Elmo and Rosita and the other Sesame Street Muppets they love up and down the produce aisle,” First Lady Michelle Obama said at a press conference today. “Imagine what it will be like to have our kids begging us to buy them fruits and vegetables instead of cookies, candy and chips."

In her remarks, the First Lady cited a recent study published in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine conducted by researchers at Cornell University. Researchers gave kids a choice between eating an apple, a cookie or both and the vast majority of the kids chose the cookie. But when the researchers put Elmo stickers on the apples and let the kids choose again, nearly double the number of kids went for the apple.

“It’s no secret that many parents have a hard time getting kids excited about eating their fruits and vegetables,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “Today’s commitment helps all of us promote increased fruit and vegetable consumption, and gives parents and families a powerful, positive tool to help kids get excited about eating healthier foods.”

As part of the agreement, Sesame Workshop will create a produce promotion toolkit and style guide for use of the Sesame Workshop assets in promotional activities.

“Sesame Workshop has long been committed to the health and well-being of children through our longstanding Healthy Habits for Life initiative—since 2004, we have been integrating messages about healthy food choices and exercise into Sesame Street, the television program, in our community outreach and on our other off-air activities,” said H. Melvin Ming, president and CEO of Sesame Workshop. “We are proud to work with the Produce Marketing Association and Partnership for a Healthier America to continue this important work.”

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Arx0nt / Moment / Getty Images

By Alina Petre, MS, RD

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for optimal health.

Read More
Plastic waste that started as packaging clogs tropical landfills. apomares / iStock / Getty Images

By Clyde Eiríkur Hull and Eric Williams

Countries around the world throw away millions of tons of plastic trash every year. Finding ways to manage plastic waste is daunting even for wealthy nations, but for smaller and less-developed countries it can be overwhelming.

Read More
Sponsored
Pexels

By Katherine Marengo, LDN, RD

In recent years, functional foods have gained popularity within health and wellness circles.

Read More
Despite fierce opposition from local homeowners, a section of the SUNOCO Mariner II East Pipeline cuts through a residential neighborhood of Exton, PA. Erik McGregor / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Jeff Turrentine

To celebrate the 50th birthday of one of America's most important environmental laws, President Trump has decided to make a mockery out of it.

Read More
With well over a billion cars worldwide, electric vehicles are still only a small percentage. An economist from the University of Michigan Energy Institute says that is likely to change. Maskot / Getty Images

In 2018, there were about 5 million electric cars on the road globally. It sounds like a large number, but with well over a billion cars worldwide, electric vehicles are still only a small percentage.

Read More